HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, Chairman of Kingdom Holding Company (KHC) received at the George V Four Seasons Hotel in Paris former French President HE Nicolas Sarkozy.
During the meeting Prince Alwaleed and Mr. Sarkozy discussed various general issues especially business and economic, and the status of the global developments. They also discussed Prince Alwaleed’s investments in France, and the bi-lateral relations between their respective countries.
In 2012, Prince Alwaleed received Mr. Sarkozy at the George V Four Seasons Hotel in Paris, and in response to an invitation from the former President of France who presided the G8 Summit for 2011, HRH Prince Alwaleed attended the e-G8 forum that was held the eve of the G8 Summit.
In 2009, President Sarkozy and the First Lady of France, Mrs. Carla Bruni-Sarkozy hosted a private luncheon for Prince Alwaleed at the Elysée Palace, Paris.
During the private luncheon, Prince Alwaleed cordially thanked the President for his invitation and the discussions touched upon the strong friendship between Saudi Arabia and France, and the social and economic bi-lateral relations between their respective countries. Also on the agenda of discussions was the official ceremony that was held in July 2008, and during which French President and HRH laid the cornerstone of the new Islamic Arts wing at the Musée du Louvre in Paris.
In the same year, Prince Alwaleed hosted a luncheon in honor of President Sarkozy at the Four Seasons George V Hotel in Paris and a private closed-meeting was held with the President at the Élysée Palace earlier that year. Topping the list of HRH’s investments in France are the George V Hotel, and Euro Disney Paris. Furthermore, Raffles is managed one of the top luxury hotels in Paris, the Le Royal Monceau owned by Qatar and was refurbished and opened in 2010. KHC has a controlling stake in Fairmont-Raffles. In addition, in 2005 HRH funded the creation of an exhibition space for the Islamic arts department at the Musée du Louvre in Paris with a contribution worth US$20 million.
The George V Four Seasons Hotel was ranked Best City Hotel Worldwide in the 2012 Gallivanter’s Guide for 10 consecutive years. Prince Alwaleed acquired the George V in 1996 for $178 million. A two-year $125 million comprehensive renovation was started in December 1997. The total cost of acquiring the hotel and renovation amounted to $303 million, reflecting the Prince’s dedication to restore the glory of this landmark.
In 2006, Prince Alwaleed was bestowed the medal of “Legion of Honor,” with the rank of Commander by the former French President, Jacques Chirac during an official ceremony held at the Élysée Palace. The medal is the country’s highest civilian honor, and it was bestowed to the Prince in recognition of his role in strengthening Saudi-French cultural, business and economic relations. In 2007, HRH was awarded the “Golden” medal by the French Minister of Culture and Communication, Mrs. Christine Albanel.